Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant Care (Zebra Basket Vine)

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The Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant, scientifically known as aeschynanthus longicaulis ‘Black Pagoda,’ is a stunning and exotic houseplant that will add a touch of elegance to any indoor space. With its dark, glossy leaves and, if you are lucky, vibrant orange-red tubular flowers, this is a perfect houseplant made to impress.

So if you are wondering how you take care of a black Pagoda lipstick plant and these thrive as an indoor plants we prepared a handy guide, exploring the essentials of caring for your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant to help it thrive and flourish.

Quick Summary

Here’s a quick overview of Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant care. Read on for more in-depth information on each aspect of care to keep your plant healthy and vibrant.

Plant Name: Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant (Aeschynanthus radicans ‘Black Pagoda’), Zebra Basket Vine, Zebra Vine, Lipstick Plant, aeschynanthus lipstick vine, lipstick black pagoda

Native to: Southeast Asia

Lighting: Bright indirect light or sunlight

Watering: The soil should be slightly moist most of the time (but not overwatered)

Humidity: High humidity levels are best

Temperature: moderate room temperature

Soil: Well-draining potting mix

Fertilizing: Depends on the time of year. Regular feeding during the growing season (from early spring to the end of summer)

Propagation: Stem cuttings

How to Care for Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant

Bringing the Plant Home

Whenever you bring a new plant home you should carefully inspect the entire plant for any potential damage and disease. Even if the plant may look healthy and you can’t see any visible pests, place it far from other plants that are already in your home to prevent the potential spread of problems (put it in quarantine). It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to introducing new plants to your home and pests.

Find a spot that has enough indirect sunlight and pay close attention to the plant for a week or two to catch any potential issues.

Your plant will need a while to adapt to the new environment so chances are it will struggle a little for a while but it should bounce back soon.

Light Requirements

Black Pagoda Lipstick Plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight (natural light is always best). Place your plant near a window with filtered light or where it receives dappled sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves. Inadequate light can lead to reduced flowering and leggy growth. Good light conditions make all the difference when it comes to proper care. Moving the plant closer or further from the window can have a dramatic impact on its well-being (and you can go from a healthy plant to dead leaves on a plant in no time).

If it receives enough indirect bright light, it will reward you with its signature flowers (if other conditions are met as well).

Watering and Moisture

Maintaining even moisture is crucial for the health of your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant. Water the plant when the top inch of the soil starts to dry water it as this plant really does love its soil moist (but not too much water).

Ensure that the pot has good drainage to prevent waterlogged soil, which can lead to root rot. During the growing season, which is typically spring and summer, water more frequently, and reduce the frequency during the dormant winter months.


These plants thrive in high-humidity environments. To create the ideal humidity level, consider using a humidity tray with water and pebbles or regularly misting the plant’s foliage. Placing a small humidifier nearby can also help maintain adequate humidity levels, especially during the dry winter months.


Use a well-draining potting mix for your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant. A mixture of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark works well. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage to prevent water from pooling at the bottom, which can lead to root issues.


Feed your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant regularly during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced liquid fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer to half strength and apply it every 4-6 weeks. Avoid over-fertilizing, as it can harm the plant. Do not fertilize during the colder months of the year as this will leed to overfeeding and will cause issues. You can also use neem oil as a fertilizer as it also works as pest repellent.


You can propagate your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant through stem cuttings. When doing stem cuttings always work with sterilized tools.

Take a healthy stem cutting with a few leaves, dip it in the rooting hormone (optional, but it is helpful), and plant it in a well-draining potting mix or in sphagnum moss (we love it). Keep the cutting in a warm, humid environment until it establishes roots and can be potted into its own container.

Common Issues and Pests

Here are some common issues and pests to watch out for when caring for your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant:

Yellowing Leaves

If the leaves of your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant start turning yellow, it may be a sign of overwatering. Check the soil’s moisture level and adjust your watering routine accordingly. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage to prevent waterlogged soil.

Root Rot

Root rot can occur if the plant sits in waterlogged soil for extended periods. To address root rot, remove the plant from the pot, trim away any affected roots, and repot it in fresh, well-draining soil. Be cautious not to overwater in the future and make sure the water can run out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot..


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that can infest your plant. To get rid of them, gently wash the plant with a stream of water or use insecticidal soap. Regularly inspect your plant for signs of aphids and take prompt action if you notice an infestation.


Mealybugs are another common pest that can affect your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant. Similar to aphids, you can use insecticidal soap or a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove them. Ensure that you treat both the upper and lower sides of the leaves, as mealybugs tend to hide in crevices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I prune my plant?

Pruning helps maintain the plant’s shape and encourages bushier growth. You can also prune to remove dead or yellowing leaves, improving the overall appearance of your Black Pagoda Lipstick Plant.

How to make the Black Pagoda Lipstick plant Bloom?

The black pagoda blooms blooms are gorgeous (bright red flowers). Are you struggling to make your tropical plants bloom? Besides giving this plant the best care (giving it enough light is the most important here) it can get another trick that might help is to make sure the plant is slightly rootbound (this can make a big difference). This will make it more likely for it to bloom.

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